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Prostitution in North Korea

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Prostitution in North Korea is illegal, and according to the North Korean government does not exist,[1] but it is still practiced discreetly.[2]

State prostitution

Main article: Kippumjo

The North Korean government engages in forced prostitution. Its prostitutes are known as manjokcho (만족조 "satisfaction team(s)") and are organised as a part of the kippŭmjo, who are drafted from among 14- to 20-year-old virgins, trained for about 20 months, and often "ordered to marry guards of [Kim Jong-il] or national heroes" when they are 25 years old.[3] For a girl selected to serve in the kippŭmjo, it is impossible to refuse, even if she is the daughter of a party official.[3] Manjokcho must have sex with male high-ranking party officials. Their services are not available to most North Korean men.[3] Not all kippŭmjo work as prostitutes—the source used is unclear as to whether only adult women are assigned to prostitution, or whether there is prostitution of children; other kippŭmjo activities are massaging and half-naked singing and dancing.

Female defectors in Northern China

North Korean women are increasingly falling victim to sex exploitation in China attempting to escape poverty and harsh conditions in their homeland. Nearly 10,000 women are reported to have escaped from North Korea to China;[4] many of them are forced into sexual slavery according to human rights groups.[5][6][7]

According to a source from 2005, "60 to 70 percent of North Korean defectors in the People's Republic of China are women, 70 to 80 percent of whom are victims of human trafficking."[3] Violent abuse starts in apartments near the border, from where the women are then moved to cities farther away to work as sex slaves. When Chinese authorities arrest these North Korean slaves, they repatriate them. North Korean authorities keep such repatriates in penal labour colonies, execute any Chinese-fathered babies of theirs "to protect North Korean pure blood" and force abortions on all pregnant repatriates not executed.[3][7]

The North Korean government permits some women to cross the border to work in food preparation facilities,[8] and some moonlight as prostitutes.

See also


  1. ^ "Korea DPR". Archived from the original on March 8, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-18. 
  2. ^ Kim Il-song's North Korea by Helen-Louise Hunter. Published by Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999
  3. ^ a b c d e "Intervention Agenda Item 12: Elimination of Violence Against Women"[dead link] at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in April 2004; speaker: Ji Sun JEONG for A Woman's Voice International (AWVI, an NGO that focused on the PRC's and DPRK's treatment of North Korean refugees to China and of Christians). Incidentally, exactly one year after her speech, the ECOSOC's Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, which "is the UN body that adjudicates requests by nongovernmental organizations for accreditation to participate in ECOSOC and its subsidiaries' meetings",[1] suspended AWVI at the instigation of the PRC's delegation. This came after another AWVI speaker activated a Chinese taser gun to illustrate torture by PRC authorities while giving his speech at the UNCHR's 61st plenary session.[2]"Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 23, 2008. Retrieved February 22, 2009. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 23, 2008. Retrieved February 22, 2009. 
  4. ^ "2008 USCRI RefugeesReportChina". USCRI News. Archived from the original on November 11, 2009. 
  5. ^ "China: Korean women forced into sex slavery" by Carol Anne Douglas. Washington Post, March 3, 2004
  6. ^ "Smuggling, Sex And Slavery". Sky News. 2008-11-13. Archived from the original on February 11, 2009. Retrieved 2008-11-17. 
  7. ^ a b Kirby, Michael Donald; Biserko, Sonja; Darusman, Marzuki (7 February 2014). "Report of the detailed findings of the commission of inquiry on human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea - A/HRC/25/CRP.1". United Nations Human Rights Council. Archived from the original on February 27, 2014. 
  8. ^ "China Deports North Korean Workers Forced Into Sex Trade". Radio Free Asia. 2014-06-12. 

Further reading

  • Kim, Eunyoung, Mirang Park, Hue Williams. "A Case Study of Trafficking in North Korean Women in China". Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology, Nov 13, 2007
  • Yoon, Bang-Soon. "Sex-Trafficking and Human Rights of North Korean Women Defectors". Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association 48th Annual Convention, USA, Feb 28, 2007

External links